Young woman found ‘not guilty’ of murder and manslaughter

Wed, 17 Nov 2021

‘Operation Liminal’ involved the prosecution of four young defendants following the death of a man in Stoke-on-Trent in October 2020. Miss Alex Boult was represented by Phil Bradley QC, leading Steve Hennessy and instructed by Lorraine Horton (Smith Partnership). 

All four youths were charged with Murder (Manslaughter in the alternative) and with an additional charge of Violent Disorder arising out of an incident some minutes before the alleged Murder.

The prosecution case was that tensions between two groups of youths escalated over a number of months. Alex Boult and her boyfriend were filmed on 27th October purchasing four machetes. 

Three days later, CCTV captured a car containing Miss Boult (front passenger), her boyfriend (driver) and two others pulling up outside the home address of the opposing gang.  A party was being held there and when the occupants of the car threw fireworks towards the address, the party-goers rushed out of the property. Alex Boult then got out of the car waving a machete.  She quickly returned to the car, which was driven away.

The prosecution alleged that, having drawn the opposing group from the party, the occupants of the car then circled the block and, on returning, deliberately drove at the group, killing the unfortunate victim, who was a friend of the opposing group and in the roadway. 

The defence case was that the party-goers deliberately enticed the occupants of the car back and lay in wait for them in a nearby park with a view to ambushing them and damaging the car.  When the car returned, the party-goers did just that and the subsequent collision was a tragic accident.

After two days of deliberating, on Friday, 12th November the Jury unanimously acquitted all four defendants of Murder and Manslaughter.

At an earlier hearing, all four had pleaded guilty to Violent Disorder.  On Monday, 15th November, Alex Boult received a suspended sentence of imprisonment for her part in the Violent Disorder.

A link to the associated press article can be found here.

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